At Gateway we use English to communicate in both written and spoken form. We use language to build our view and opinion of the world and our community. We believe that developing a love of our language in our children is vital in achieving success at school and later in life. The exploration and enjoyment of the English language is our priority and we value all its aspects –speaking, listening, reading and writing. English is taught daily across the whole school with a separate Reading and Writing lesson.
Speaking and Listening
Talking is fundamental to learning. Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to state their ideas and opinions. Just as important is the need to listen carefully to others and respond in appropriate ways. At Gateway pupils are given opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop their speaking and listening skills, in paired, group or whole class situations. Therefore, role play, small world and drama activities are intrinsic elements of speaking and listening across the school and crucial to the development of writing. Extra support is given to children with Speaking and Listening difficulties and with English as an Additional Language.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
We place great value on the importance of accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and grammar. We follow the National Curriculum 2014 to ensure that teaching is both structured and rigorous throughout the school. We follow the RWI phonics programme to ensure a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics throughout the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One and the RWI spelling programme as the children move through Key Stage Two.
At Gateway we aim for children to be independent writers. We use Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing principles as our structure to the teaching of writing and from this encourage them to write clearly and with confidence in any given genre. We teach them to use punctuation and grammar accurately, to be able to proofread their own work and make amendments and improvements. Our teaching of handwriting encourages children to place value on the development of correct letter formation and neatly presented work. We give children a wide range of opportunities in which to develop their writing skills and display work of which they are proud. Through our English curriculum, we aim to nurture in the children a love of literature and language and for them to leave us with the skills required for their future education.
Our children are involved in the setting of their own targets for improvement from Key Stage 1 onwards, their progress is rigorously monitored through termly target setting and Pupil Progress Meetings.
At Blackpool Gateway Academy, we recognise the importance that reading has in the life of a child and we are proud to provide all children with the opportunity to become skilled and confident readers through a rigorous reading provision throughout school. It is our aim to ensure all children leave school capable readers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry with a lifelong love and enjoyment of reading.
Children beginning their reading journey will be instructed via the Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics scheme in KS1 until they are fluent in all sounds and able to confidently blend to sight read fluently. Upon completing RWI phonics, children further this learning through a RWI Spelling scheme and RWI Comprehension scheme. Upon completion of the RWI Comprehension scheme, they continue their reading learning journey via our adapted VIPERS sessions. VIPERS gives children the chance to explore the understanding and depth of texts, develop a confidence in reading aloud to the class and produce writing based upon their reading.
In addition to the teaching of reading, we provide children with opportunities to develop their love of reading through supporting home reading via the Oxford Reading Tree scheme and online Bug Club. We ensure children are rewarded for their efforts beyond the school day with: the chance to enjoy storytime with juice and a biscuit; opportunities for the class to win audiobooks and individuals to earn bronze, silver and gold bookworm badges.
Throughout the school day, our children all enjoy the chance to listen to the teacher read and complete independent reading, often in our creative classroom reading areas. Children can also be suprised by our Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) alert which encourages children to drop learning and enjoy a story! At Blackpool Gateway Academy, we are proud to welcome outside agencies throughout the year including the BookBus and Teepee Fair, in which children can enjoy stories and buy some books to take home. We are fortunate to have two local libraries in which we seek to visit through the school year, alongside enriching our pupils' experience through author visits across the school.